Anyone who’s ever suffered from acne knows the never-ending saga of trying to find the perfect products for your acne prone skin. As much as you try to remain optimistic, sometimes it can feel like all you’re left with is a vanity full of products that don’t work, an empty wallet, and acne that won’t budge.
Everyone’s acne journey is unique, but people with acne-prone skin types can take solace in knowing that the options to treat acne are seemingly endless. If you’re still searching for the perfect products for your acne prone skin, allow us to suggest some of our favorites.
Oily skin types are usually no strangers to breakouts. When excess oil pools on your skin’s surface, it can mix with dead cells and dirt and form a clogged pore which—with exposure to bacteria—can transform into a red, juicy pimple. So the idea of adding more oil onto the skin when washing acne-prone skin of all things may seem like a cruel joke, but it’s actually not. The proof is in the science: oil attracts oil. Instead of using water (which repels oil) to break down pore-clogging grease and makeup on the skin’s surface, you should use a lightweight oil cleanser instead.
Once you’ve found the right oil cleanser for your skin, apply a few pumps into the palms of your hand and massage it into dry skin. Add water onto your skin and use a Clarisonic facial cleansing brush, like Mia Smart, to emulsify the oil cleanser for up to one minute and give your skin a deep clean up to six times better than your hands alone.
Editor’s note: Unless the oil cleanser used is formulated with an acne-fighting ingredients, it likely won’t reduce the appearance of blemishes. But by helping to eliminate excess sebum before it has a chance to clog pores, you can help prevent new blemishes from forming. Furthermore, oil cleansers are often much gentler than their foaming counterparts, making them a great option for anyone with sensitive acne skin.
You’ve probably heard of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to treat mild to severe acne blemishes, but there’s another acne-fighting ingredient that fewer people have heard of: sulfur. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it can eliminate acne-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface and unclog pores. You can find sulfur formulated into a handful of targeted skin care products for acne, including face masks and spot treatments.
Editor’s note: As with any skin care product, if you’re introducing a new ingredient into your skin care routine be sure to test it out on the upper part of your inner arm before applying it to your face. This will allow you to make sure your skin doesn’t have any adverse reactions before applying it to your face.
You may have heard of retinoid creams to combat aging and pimples, but that’s not all you can use it for. Dermatologists often recommend retinoid creams to deal with acne. Retinoid is the term used to describe products formulated with retinol. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A that’s available over the counter and by prescription, can help unclog pores, according to the AAD, making it a useful ingredient in the fight against comedonal acne (whiteheads and blackheads). For more severe acne, retinol may be recommended in conjunction with other acne-fighting products.
Editor’s note: Retinoids are incredibly powerful and should only be used as directed. Due to increased sun sensitivity, apply retinoid products at night only and wear broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher on all exposed areas of skin during the daytime. If excess irritation or peeling occurs, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist.